Comedy Workshops Return!

We are delighted to announce the return of in-person workshops from October 2021. We’re running 8 week courses in Foundation Improv, Intermediate Improv and Beginning Stand-Up Comedy. Thank you for your continued interest and patience as we arrange suitable workshop spaces.

An eight week course designed to help introduce the basic theories, ideas and skills of improvisation. You don’t need to have any sort of background in performing or comedy to join in, just a willingness to get involved and have a good time. Not only useful for confidence building, stage presence, and play, but also a great opportunity to network and meet new people. The cost for the full eight weeks is £115 or £100 concessions. You can pay in full now or just pay a non-refundable £30 deposit to secure your space.

The course will commence Sunday 3rd October. Sessions will run Sunday afternoons 1-3pm for eight weeks at Gorse Hill Studios, Stretford. The venue is fully accessible with on street parking. The venue is also close to several bus routes and just a 15 minute walk from Old Trafford tram stop. Find out more.

An eight week course designed to give you your first foothold in the otherwise daunting world of Stand Up Comedy. Under expert tutelage you’ll receive all the skills you need to put together your first short stand-up comedy routine as well as fundamental skills like stagecraft, performance and microphone technique. The core of the course is a weekly workshop where the attendees will have a chance to prepare and try out their material in a supportive atmosphere. This course also includes a Showcase at the end of the 8 weeks for participants. The cost for the full eight weeks is £110 or £100 concessions. You can pay in full now or just pay a non-refundable £30 deposit to secure your space.

The course will commence Saturday 2nd October. Sessions will run Saturday afternoons 12.30-2.30pm for eight weeks at The Barking Dog, Urmston. Find out more.

We’re running things a little differently for our advanced classes this time round. So we can keep things covid-secure for workshoppers and facilitators alike we’re running this as a set eight week course. This allows us to keep a better track of numbers and ensure plenty of space for everyone – however, if you’d only be able to drop-in to some sessions you can drop us an email and we’ll try to squeeze you in at a per-session rate. This course has a rolling syllabus so can be taken multiple times. Some of the topics covered in previous courses and drop-ins:
    • Advanced Scene Work.
    • Use of Space
    • Maintaining Characters
    • Improv Challenges
    • Listening skills.
    • Status
    • Music and Rap
We’ll be announcing a full line-up of sessions on our website in the coming weeks. The course will commence Sunday 3rd October. Sessions will run Sunday afternoons 3-5pm for eight weeks at Gorse Hill Studios, Stretford. The venue is fully accessible with on street parking. The venue is also close to several bus routes and just a 15 minute walk from Old Trafford tram stop. Find out more.
We can’t wait to see you at a workshop or show soon. Want to catch us live? Visit our shows page for more info. Got questions about our workshops? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Star Wars Lessons For Improv

This May 4th we thought we’d share some Star Wars themed Improv insights that can be employed on stage and in workshops… and they’re pretty good for everyday life and communication as well!

Star Wars Improv ComedySportz

MAKE GOOD EYE CONTACT (THE FORCE AWAKENS)

Poe Dameron clearly understood the value of eye contact in this scene during Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s just a shame that his scene partner Kylo Ren didn’t join him, leading to this unfortunate moment between the two of them.  Eye contact is an important aspect of communication, especially when initiating a scene.

AVOID QUESTIONS (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK)

If you keep asking questions you don’t have to come up with any answers. This can often result in scene’s grinding to a halt or your scene partner having to do a lot of the hard work. It’s a trap(!) that is easy to fall in too, especially if you’re worried about making a “bad” choice for a scene. However, making clear statements moves scenes along and allows relationships to grow.

That’s not to say all questions are inherently bad, especially if they can reveal something interesting about a character’s thoughts and feelings (or if you’re playing the game “Questions Only”) but if you find your scenes don’t go anywhere think about how many decisions you were – or weren’t! – making.

KEEP FOCUSED (THE PHANTOM MENACE)

Yeah, we know a lot of people didn’t like this scene from the Star Wars: Phantom Menace but Qui-Gon is right here. It’s important to be mindful of your surroundings during your scenes and games; did you just walk through that meticulously mimed landspeeder? Is your scene partner playing a Wookiee or a Kowakian monkey-lizard? Is this a moon or is it a space station?

You never know when you might find a gift or offer for a scene and the improvisers who look slickest are the ones who are completely committed to the here and now, reacting in the moment to actions on – and sometimes off – stage.

Likewise, try not to get stuck in your own head (or an “excessive amount of thinking” as C-3PO might put it) and avoid planning. As Yoda also tells us, “impossible to see, the future is.”

COMMIT TO YOUR PUNS (ATTACK OF THE CLONES)

DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL (THE LAST JEDI)

We’re afraid of messing up and feeling embarrassed but if you did something and fully committed to your scene, game or exercise it doesn’t matter if you “failed” at it. Similarly to when Yoda tells Luke, “Do, or do not, there is no try”, we hope you feel encouraged to commit to an idea instead of holding back because of a negative fear of messing up.

You can learn from failure without having to be embarrassed by it – in workshops it’s a shared moment for growth and development, in performance it’s an opportunity to play with something new and unexpected. Failure can be fun too!

THE FORCE IS WITH YOU (ROGUE ONE)

And by force we mean scene partners. Working together as a team and looking out for your scene partner’s means you can walk out on stage knowing that everyone has your back.


Want to know more about the ways of the force? Err, we mean, Improv? Check out our workshops page for all the latest on upcoming classes and courses.


 

From all at ComedySportz UK, May The Fourth Be With You!

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